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Sibling Play

Getting siblings to play together can sometimes be easier said than done but when they do it is quite possibly one of the best things to see! You get five minutes for a cuppa and they get to bond over the tuff spot!

I asked our brilliant Facebook community what works for them when it comes to encouraging brothers and sisters to engage in play with each other, and here’s what they had to say:


Play dough - definitely the most popular answer!

Closely followed by water and other forms of sensory/messy play such as ice, sand, rice, shaving foam.

Pom pom scooping, sorting, cupping, making into ‘ice cream’ in cups.

Crafts, painting, drawing, sticking


Magnet tiles - great for a wide range of age groups from toddlers to teens even!

Magnetic Shapes


Den building - give each a responsibility then once it’s built they can use it to play in, watch lights, read books etc.

Sensory scarves - let the big one pull them out, leaving the little one mesmerised!

Sensory baskets

Tea party

Role play - doctors, teachers, fire/ambulance. Give them both a role with their own props. Be inspired by their favourite books or TV shows. Try combining with dolls, small figures and related characters.

Kinetic sand

Kinetic Sand


Puppets - older siblings love entertaining smaller ones by regaling stories!

Timed races - building towers, any sorting task

Bug hunts - great for getting them outdoors!

Try tailoring the same activity to each child’s age, interest or abilities i.e. ask younger children to identify colours and older children to count them or invite toddlers to pour./scoop sensory rice while the older child finds letters/numbers in it.

Similarly, you can set up two of the same activity so they can play with it in whatever way they like.

Bouncing on the bed! (Just make sure you’ve got a strong bed!)

Finally, don’t forget there’s also a dedicated section in The playHOORAY! Handbook all about sibling play.